Archive for Friday, March 4, 2011

Democrats unveil spending-cut counteroffer

March 4, 2011


— Senate Democrats unveiled a detailed counteroffer Friday seeking to undo tens of billions of dollars in cuts Republicans would make to education, housing and other domestic programs.

With the two parties maneuvering for advantage in their budget clash, the Democratic plan conforms to President Barack Obama’s opening gambit to cut another $6.5 billion from domestic agencies. But neither it nor the $61 billion in cuts passed by House Republicans is expected to survive test votes next week in the Senate.

Both sides view the votes as necessary preludes to negotiations on narrowing the $50 billion gap between cuts the White House and Republicans want. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid called the GOP reductions “mean-spirited.”

Facing a federal deficit of $1.6 trillion, the White House and Congress have struggled to produce a long-overdue plan for the ongoing budget year. House Republican leaders are under pressure from tea partiers in their ranks for significant spending cuts, putting them at odds with Democrats who control the Senate.

The Democratic plan unveiled by Reid, D-Nev., completely restores money the House GOP cuts from education, health and job training programs. It provides a modest increase for homeland security rather than the 2 percent cut proposed by Republicans. And it softens cuts to housing subsidies and community development grants, while restoring about $5 billion in foreign aid, including help for allies in the war on terror like Afghanistan and Pakistan.

But it’s not likely to please the Defense Department. The Pentagon has already complained that the slightly more generous House measure would leave it without enough money to meet vital military requirements.

Reid promises votes next week on both plans but said he doesn’t expect either to win the 60 votes needed to pass.

“Our plan recognizes that we’re not in a competition to determine who can cut the most, without regard for the consequences,” Reid said. He said House Republicans’ plan “is based in ideology, ours is based in reality. These are decisions about real money that solve real problems that affect real lives.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a participant in Thursday’s talks with Vice President Joe Biden and congressional leaders, said the Democratic plan does nothing more than the status quo. It falls far short of a House-passed GOP bill slashing domestic agencies by 13 percent or more on average.


Richard Heckler 7 years, 1 month ago

WE must all think about what republicans have left behind for democratic administrations to clean up which BTW is no mean feat.... Multiple offenses have made it damn difficult for America to catch up.

Read and think about the magnitude of these events which have cost millions upon millions their jobs,retirement programs and medical insurance!

In fact it appears to be policy of republican administrations.

AND they are still trying to steal OUR Social Security Insurance dollars and give it to greedy Wall Street investors. That is simply unacceptable.

It's YOUR money! 6 cases in point to be considered and read completely:

  1. The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist(Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion)

  2. Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers

  3. Bush and Henry Paulson blew the $700 billion of bail out money?

  4. Social Security Insurance AT Risk for no reason( This would cost taxpayers $4 trillion, add $700 billion to the debt each of the next 20 years, place taxpayers insurance money at risk and wreck the economy)

  5. Medical Insurance Insurance is COSTING YOU MORE BUT YOU ARE GETTING LESS How much is the sick U.S.A. Medical Insurance industry costing you?

  6. Billions in Over Charges! Why did the medical insurance industry allow their clients to pay what they should have paid?

Congress knows of these over charges but to date nothing has been done. Nobody has gotten their money back!!!

Richard Heckler 7 years, 1 month ago

Banning unions = lower wages and fewer benefits if any!!! This can impact all working americans union or not. Think about it.

Stephen Roberts 7 years, 1 month ago

Merrill has Bush on his minds always. I bet he is secretly in love with him based on all his posts about him.. Just think about it.

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